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Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 25 April 2022.
Another bank holiday weekend is approaching in the UK. Attention will once again be focused on how well airports and airlines are equipped to handle passenger volumes.
In response to reports BA is setting up a cabin crew base in Madrid to staff some short haul flights this summer, the airline has told The Telegraph it is “looking at a range of temporary options to ensure we can support our customers this summer as we ramp our operation back up.”
BA has in the past actively recruited cabin crew in mainland Europe for its London cabin crew fleets. It also has overseas crew bases to provide local language speakers on certain long haul routes, but has more recently generally preferred to recruit crews with specific language skills in the UK.
This would be the first time the airline has set up an overseas crew base to operate short haul flights. What is planned as temporary can often become permanent. Much like the establishment of BA EuroFlyer at Gatwick this in the past would have been seen as unpalatable to trade unions.
Early May Bank Holiday Travel
If you are travelling to airports this weekend, there is once again disruption to Tube and rail services.
There are no Southern or Gatwick Express services at London Victoria. Trains will continue to run between Gatwick airport and London Bridge station.
Engineering work will also affect early morning Heathrow Express and TfL Rail services between London Paddington and Heathrow on Sunday 1 May.
There are no direct trains between London Liverpool Street and Stansted airport. Buses will replace trains between Waltham Cross and the airport.
Full details are available from National Rail and Transport for London.
BA Route Network Updates
Here are a few BA route network updates across London airports:
At London City, winter seasonal services to Chambery and Salzburg have ended. These will resume from 17 & 9 December respectively.
On long haul at London Gatwick, services to San Jose Costa Rica and Montego Bay are now suspended for the summer until 1 & 2 November respectively. Flights to Punta Cana now operate via Antigua until 1 November.
Turning to Heathrow, winter seasonal services to Chambery, Grenoble and Salzburg have ended. These should resume in December.
On long-haul, BA returns to New Orleans tomorrow. Baltimore and Nashville follow on 2 & 9 May. Services to The Maldives end on 29 April and should return on 30 October.
Accra, Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Sao-Paulo – Buenos Aires move from Terminal 5 to 3 today.
Airbus A380 flights also restart to San Francisco on flights BA287 & BA286 this Sunday, 1 May.
Also of interest this week:
A nightmare 80 hour journey from New York to Hong Kong navigating flight bans, testing requirements and quarantine involving 3 flights, with another 3 cancelled. (Financial Times)
Last week, Icelandic airline PLAY launched its inaugural route from Reykjavik to Baltimore. Whilst it aims to avoid the mistakes of WOW air in expanding too quickly, it remains to be seen if Keflavik can establish itself as a transatlantic hub when there are already so many one-stop options between Europe and the US. (The Times)
The CAA has released traffic data for domestic and international routes for March.
News from London Air Travel you may have missed:
S7 Airlines’ membership of the Oneworld alliance is suspended. (London Air Travel)
There are signs BA is now preparing for the winter season – some long haul routes will stay at Terminal 3 over the winter. (London Air Travel)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
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